Loving Israel through its music

March 3, 2012 - 7:14 PM by

Infected Mushroom will be mesmerizing the US and UK bloggers this week in Tel Aviv.

It’s not a new idea, but it’s a really good one. For the last few years, government offices like the Foreign Ministry and Tourism Ministry, and private advocacy initiatives like ISRAEL21c, StandwithUS and the Israel Project, have been flying over journalists, policy makers and celebrities to Israel. Their aim? To show them the Israel that we write about – the vibrant country behind the headlines that’s leading the way in high tech, innovation and the arts.

It’s a great idea because you can’t get every person to come and visit Israel, but if one popular blogger comes over and gets a good impression of the country, then everyone who follows that blogger is going to be reading about Israel in a different light.

A new player in the game is Kinetis – a young Tel Aviv-based advocacy organization that aims to promote Israel as a vibrant and inspirational source of creativity and innovation. Their pet project focuses on bloggers and is called Vibe Israel.

Previous Vibe Israel trips have focused on ‘mommy bloggers’ and design bloggers, and this week, their third group has landed, consisting of five popular music bloggers.

• Rebecca Schiller of the New Musical Express from London,
• New York’s Samantha Edussuriya of MTV Iggy
• Luke Britton of This Fake/DIY from the UK
• Rory Hamilton of Feel My Bicep from Scotland
• and Brandon Bogajewicz of The Burning Ear, blogging from California.

Collectively, they boast over nine million readers.

Their week-long visit, which encompasses the Mardi Gras-like atmosphere of Purim, includes meeting a slew of top Israeli musical talent including Koby Farhi, the frontman for Orphaned Land, Idan Raichel, Geva Alon and Ivri Lider. The group will also attend a Purim show by Mashina and Infected Mushroom in Tel Aviv.

There’s no way they’re going to come away with a bad impression of them, or of Israeli music in general, and maybe, with their clout, it could start a groundswell that will push the names of some of them into the international spotlight. And if not, the bloggers’ posts from their week in Israel will surely open the eyes of their readers to the astounding variety of world class music we have here.


3 Comments on Loving Israel through its music

  1. yair nitzani on Tue, Mar 6th 2012 8:22 AM
  2. I wanted to present to you this funny clip that I think might be interesting to you.

  3. Loving Israel through its music | Boycot Israel on Sun, Mar 11th 2012 12:18 AM
  4. glenn tamir on Sun, May 6th 2012 4:01 PM
  5. I am an oleh had ash (new immigrant) living here in the Galilee for six years. I am a musician and producer and have been blessed to be in contact with dozens of the most incredible musicians and other creative people who are all around this beautiful area. I have created what I have envisioned since before I came here to live – a music and cultural center to celebrate and share the music of the people in this region with The World. Also, to bring some of the music from around the World, to the People of the Galil.

    My Facebook Page will show you some of the things we are planning, including a very special Classical Indian Music workshop & concert by a 14th generation Sarangi Master. What we are really excited about is our Summer Solstice Stew & Saz Festival the end of June (see attached .pdf). I will describe The Stew in more detail:

    The Summer Solstice Stew & Saz Festival is the fruits of over three years of working with a core of people who live around the Valley of Yodefat. This spot can be called the “Massada of the Galilee” as it was a pivotal point in the war against the Romans that ended with the events of Massada. It was at this battle that the historian we know as Josephus surrendered to the Romans as the Jewish General Yosef Ben-Matityahu. This site discusses the area – in fact, the photo of Tel Yodefat on the page is the exact view from the main festival site. It is one of the most beautiful valleys and places in Israel and we will have an amazing licensed tour guide who will offer guided tours of the Area. People are also able to explore on their own.

    Three years ago, WOMINI produced a special gathering of musicians from the current village of Yodefat that took place INSIDE one of the large caves that once served as a well for the 10,000 inhabitants of the ancient city of Yodefat. Here is a photo of how we transformed the cave for the musicians and what it looked like inside with the 200 people who came for the show! I produced a video trailer of the event and we have a full-length CD available at CD Baby.

    The Diwan Saz and particularly their teacher, Yohai Barak, are at the core of the Stew & Saz Festival. They will be performing as a group and in support of some VERY special musical guests coming for the festival from the Isle of Crete and from India. This include Master Ross Daly who is a World-renowned teacher and master of the Cretan Lyra. This concert will be the culmination or the Saz Festival Day on the 21st and it will include other special guest musicians from Israel who are AMAZING at their art.

    I have put together a video clip that shows many of the acts that are confirmed for The Stew. The outdoor shots were taken last Summer at the very same spot where the festival will be held. This place called Ohel Yael is a hidden gem here in the Galilee. A place usually dedicated to weddings, Ohel Yael provides an incredible location for this kind of festival.

    The Summer Solstice Stew & Saz Festival ticket sales will be limited to only 500 full festival/camping passes. This is to ensure that the experience of those in attendance will be at the highest possible level. This is different from many other festivals that provide large often noisy crowds. The idea here is to project the peaceful and serene nature that the Galil holds for those who seek it. WOMINI lives and breathes in this environment and we will make sure that those who come will experience an event that they will long remember and talk about.

    There will be amazing food available, provide by the Ohel Yael in-house catering genius of Chef Ruslan. Ruslan is a Kafkazi Master Chef whose food and presentation is stunning. He is completely kosher with a registered heksher. Festival-goers will feel like they are at a wedding. A marriage between their senses and the beauty of the Galilee.

    We are blessed to have musical, spiritual and physical healers as part of the festival to enhance everyone’s experience. Herbal tea and Beduin coffee will be offered throughout – again, to provide the feeling of being in a special, exclusive gathering like that of a wedding of a loved one or close friend.

    Finally, the entire event will be professionally videotaped and promoted through a variety of international and US-based organizations and Jewish/Christian community groups and organizations like Israeli Summer and Year Programs, Summer Camps, and groups like Playing For Change that seek to bring World Culture to the online community.

    WOMINI maintains a physical location at a Masorti Yishuv in the Galilee called Shorashim. We hold regularly scheduled workshops and concerts that focus on the local musical community as well as other World Music events. We can also host special gatherings for groups to provide them with a Galilean musical and cultural experience from a large choice of artists like drum circles, workshops on the local World Music scene including a performance, etc… These are very special events that will stand out as a highlight of a visitor’s travels to Israel. I have seen this already with everyone who comes here.

    Thank you again for your interest and I look forward to working with you and meeting you sometime in the near future. I will be happy to introduce you to many of the places and people discussed in this e-mail.


    Glenn Tamir
    Executive Director
    WOMINI (World Musc Institute of Northern Israel)

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